What to Do if You See Someone Choking

Seeing someone choking is something that is surprisingly not too uncommon a circumstance, but yet so few people are properly prepared for it. In terms of training, it is something that can be learnt with a small amount of time but can make a big difference to someone’s life. The following advice is for children and adults, but should not be used on children less than 12 months old. Here is what you should do if you see someone with mild or severe choking symptoms.

Mild Choking

Choking occurs when either an adult or child’s airway suddenly becomes blocked and they are unable to breathe properly. You can tell if someone is mildly choking because they should still be able to partly speak, cry, breath or cough. In such circumstances, the best course of action is to encourage them to get it up themselves. This means they need to either spit out what’s in their mouth or to continually keep coughing until it comes up. Hopefully, this should do the trick, and you shouldn’t need to physically get involved, just instead encourage them with the above advice.

Severe Choking

Severe choking is taking place if someone is unable to breathe or speak entirely. If left unaided, this can cause the child or adult to eventually become unconscious. This means it’s time for you to step in and carry out two different manoeuvres.

Back Blows

Start by standing behind the person but just to the side, and then bending them forward. Now, place one hand on their chest for support. With the palm of your hand, give 5 sharp blows to the middle of the person’s back between the shoulder blades. If this doesn’t clear the blockage, then move onto the next manoeuvre.

Abdominal Thrusts

Again, stand behind the person choking and lean them forward slightly. Next wrap your arms around and place one fist above their belly button, and grab your fist with the other hand. Now, pull your hands inwards up to 5 times in a row. Afterwards, check to see if the blockage has been removed.

If these steps don’t work then you need to ring an ambulance and tell them that someone is choking. Then, continue the cycle of 5 back blows and 5 abdominal thrusts until help arrives. If the person falls unconscious then it is time to stop and carry out CPR. Hopefully, such a situation shall never arise, but if it does then you can be better prepared. Human Touch runs a number of courses, such as first aid training in Peterborough, as a way to better prepare you, your friends or work colleagues in case of emergency situations. If this is something you might be interested in, then please feel free to get in contact with us today.

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